(My usual Monday continuing family story will appear tomorrow)
Today (Sunday)while our family in Canada was celebrating Thanksgiving, we celebrated Harvest Festival at Woodgreen Evangelical Church in Worcester.
At home we imagined the church decorated with pumpkins, a wide variety of colourful squash and gourds, and red, gold and brilliant orange leaves. Here in England, the small children brought their offerings of food to decorate the front of the church.
And we sang the hymns I remember from childhood Harvest Festivals, including
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flow’r that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Cecil F. Alexander, 1848
In Canada while families gathered for turkey and pumpkin pie, Uncle John, and Stephen took us out to lunch at The Bridge Carvery.
A carvery is a restaurant where the diners select from a variety of roasts: Turkey; ham; pork; beef; or nut loaf, for vegetarians. Then there is a delectable buffet of vegetables to add to your plate: Carrots; peas; red cabbage; potatoes-scalloped, mashed or roasted; cauliflower; mushrooms in white sauce; gravy, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding.
We savoured each delicious bite of the different vegetables and meats, enjoying the meal to the full!
And then--and then; dessert; or pudding, as it is called here. We gazed at the amazing selection, kept from the watering mouths of the patrons, in a glass case.
I chose a cream filled sponge, topped with honey and almonds, with pouring cream;
Paul went for apple pie and custard; Uncle John chose lemon merengue pie with soft icecream, and Stephen had trifle! We savoured our selections and delivered our verdicts on each: All delicious!
On the wall beside our table was this sign, for Grandma's, which at first we thought was another restaurant. Eventually the penny dropped, and we realized that this sign could go up in every grandma's home, where an endless supply of cuddles, hugs and all sorts of goodies are available.
We have so much to be thankful for. I thank God for our time here--for life, health, and the riches of family and friends.